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League of Women Voters Positions
in Support of Majority Rule, Full Representation and/or Instant Runoff Voting

January 2003

The League of Women Voters has a long tradition of careful study and consensus building prior to taking positions. For example, The Washington League conducted a three-year study with two excellent election system reports, and the Vermont League participated in a citizens’ commission created by the Vermont House of Representatives, which issued a final report recommending instant runoff voting for all statewide elections. Part of this process often involves circulating information and then asking for responses to a series of “consensus questions” to promote thoughtful debate and thorough consideration by all members. For example, the Vermont League circulated IRV consensus questions prior to taking their position in favor of such reform in 1999.

The League of Women Voters of the United States adopted a study of electoral systems at its convention in June 2000 and has been seeking funding to conduct it among its many hundreds of state and local branches.

Here are the positions adopted by Washington State, California and Vermont Leagues, as well as by several local Leagues in California.

Washington State League of Women Voters (May 2002)

“Supports the concept of a majority vote requirement for winners of single offices such as mayor or governor, as long as it is achieved using a voting method such as the Instant Runoff Vote, rather than a second, separate runoff election.” 

Vermont State League of Women Voters (1999) 

“In accordance with the League of Women Voters’ position of promoting political responsibility through informed and active participation of citizens in government, the League of Women Voters of Vermont supports Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) for all single seat statewide elections to assure that the candidate preferred by a majority of voters wins the election.”

California State League of Women Voters (May 2002)

"We support the concept of a majority vote requirement for winner of single offices such as Mayor or Governor, as long as it is achieved using a voting method such as the instant runoff vote rather than a second, separate runoff election "

Pasadena (November 1999)

“Advocacy of instant runoff voting for single seat elections.”

El Dorado County, CA League of Women Voters (2000) 

Adopted the Pasadena position by concurrence

Berkeley-Albany-Emoryville (September 2000)

“ ‘Instant runoff voting’ should be used in all elections involving more than two candidates for a single position.”

Oakland (January 2003)

Adopted the Berkeley-Albany-Emeryville position by concurrence.


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